Ken Burns

American documentarian and filmmaker (born 1953)

Kenneth Lauren "Ken" Burns[1] (born July 29, 1953)[1] is an American director and producer of documentary movies. He is known for his style of using archival footage and photographs. Burns is also a historian and writer.[1]

Ken Burns
Burns in April 2016
Kenneth Lauren Burns

(1953-07-29) July 29, 1953 (age 70)
Alma materHampshire College
Years active1981–present
Amy Stechler
(m. 1982⁠–⁠1993)

Julie Deborah Brown
(m. 2003)

His most widely known documentaries are The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001), The War (2007), The National Parks: America's Best Idea (2009), Prohibition (2011) and The Central Park Five (2012). His movies have been nominated for two Academy Awards, and have won Emmy Awards, among other honors.[1]

Burns was born on July 29, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York[1] His ancestors owned slaves, and one was a Confederate soldier.[2][3] He studied at Hampshire College.[1] Burns was married to Amy Stechler from 1982 until they divorced in 1993.[1] He married Julie Deborah Brown in 2003, and in 2017 they were still married.[1] Burns said that he is influenced by Shelby Foote and Errol Morris.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Ken Burns Biography (1953-)". Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  2. "Finding Your Roots: Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns Uncovers Lincoln Connection". Ancestry Blog. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  3. "Ben Affleck Requested His Slave-Owner Ancestor Be Censored From PBS' 'Finding Your Roots'". Hollywood Reporter. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2020-11-02.
  4. Bragg, Meredith; Gillespie, Nick (October 3, 2011). "Ken Burns on PBS Funding, Being a 'Yellow-Dog Democrat,' & Missing Walter Cronkite". Reason. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012.

Other websites


  Media related to Ken Burns at Wikimedia Commons